Aid Agencies Decry Decision To Encourage FGM In Somaliland

From Xinhua:
MOGADISHU, Feb. 24 (Xinhua) — …On Feb. 6, Somaliland announced a new fatwa, or religious edict, banning two of the three types of female cutting.

The edict by the Ministry of Religious Affairs allows FGM victims to receive compensation but it does not say whether the compensation will be paid by the government or by violators of the ban.

According to the organizations, the ruling made a certain type of FGM/C “mandatory” for every girl in Somaliland and at the same time banning the most extreme forms.

The religious edict came barely a month after Somaliland’s parliament approved a bill criminalizing rape and requiring prison terms for those who are convicted….

Somalia is among countries in which FGM is most prevalent. An estimated 98 percent of Somali females ages 15 to 49 have undergone the procedure.

The aid agencies said the decision to encourage FGM will erode decades of investments made in ending FGM in Somalia/Somaliland and undermines the mobilization, awareness-raising and prevention work undertaken by communities, national and international organizations and the government aiming at total abandonment of FGM/C in Somalia/Somaliland….

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